Constable

George DOYLE

YEAR OF DEATH

1902

JURISDICTION

Queensland

DETAILS OF DEATH

On Thursday the 27 March 1902 a warrant for the arrest for James Kenniff arrived at the Carnarvon Police Station. The same day a complaint was received that three armed men had been seen stealing horses and an outstation had been burnt down. Senior Constable George Doyle Officer-In-Charge of Carnarvon Police Station went to investigate. He left with Black Tracker Sam Johnson and a local grazier Albert Christiansen Dahlke who also knew the three Kenniff brothers. Doyle was the only one of the party armed. On Easter Sunday morning 30 March Doyle and Dahlke intercepted James Kenniff. While Johnson was getting handcuffed he heard gunshots and soon it was Johnson who was being pursued. He escaped to raise the alarm. Doyle’s horse was located covered in blood minus the pack bags. Later the charred remains of Doyle and Dahlke was located in saddle bags on the Kenniffs horses. On the bank of a creek the ashes of three fires were found. Near by were two pairs of spurs (identified as Doyle and Dahlke) also located were several fragments of broken bone human tooth shirt button and a piece of clothing. In the pack bags were about 200 pounds of charcoal which were found to contain a large quantity or partly burned fragments of human bone from various parts of the body human teeth shirt buttons shirt stud small fragments of clothing and material. The remains were examined and found to be those of an adult male or males with fat still found undecayed between two vertebras. Other personal property was also located amongst the charred remains. After an extensive search the Kenniffs were located in a camp in the bush. Patrick and James were taken into custody and charged with murder. A trial found them both guilty of the murders and both were sentenced to hang. On appeal James was sentenced to life imprisonment and was released after 14 years. Patrick’s appeal was dismissed and he was executed at Brisbane Bogga Road jail at 8am on the 12 January 1903. Doyle and Dahlke charred remains are entombed in the Tamrookum cemetery near Beaudesert.

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National Police Memorial Australia

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